Musk spoke broadly about solar energy, space travel, self-driving cars and other emerging technology during a question-and-answer session at the summer conference of the National Governors Association in Rhode Island. Yet, his announcements before the country's governors were remarkable both for their critical seriousness, and his mighty call for government intercession. "AI is [the] rare case in which we have to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive", he said.
"It takes forever. That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization", Musk continued. "They were harmful to a set of individuals in society of course, but they were not harmful to society as a whole", Musk told Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval on Saturday.
"I'm increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and worldwide level, just to make sure that we don't do something very foolish". To this, Musk stated that there should be a regulatory committee that will be entrusted with the task of understanding artificial intelligence tech in depth. I'm against overregulation for sure, but man, I think with we've got to get on that with AI, pronto.
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Musk noted there definitely is a role for regulators.
"The thing to bear in mind though is new vehicle production is only 5% of the size of the vehicle fleet", Musk said.
"They could start a war by doing fake news and spoofing email accounts and fake press releases, and just by manipulating information".
Musk urged attending governors to establish a strong foundation of AI regulations before it is too late. "I keep sounding the alarm bell".
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"Once there is awareness, people will be extremely afraid, as they should be", Musk said.
This is far from the first time the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has made dire public warnings about the threats associated with artificial intelligence. He compared artificial intelligence with traditional targets for regulations.
Interviewed by filmmaker Werner Herzgog in 2016 for his film Lo and Behold, Musk outlined an example of how an AI could wreak destruction even if it adhered to its programming. So, we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. However, Musk thinks that this is not going to create an outflow of companies from the United States.
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